Please look out for scallop dredging near Natura 2000 sites and update on Blacksod Bay

Coastwatchers please look out for and report to us and the SFPA local office any inshore scallop dredging   in and around Natura 2000 sites.

The ideal report includes time, place, boat  name/number, if you saw the boat landing scallops where that was.

 

Why?  Because dredging scallops in our inshore most sensitive Natura 2000 sites has a high chance of doing seafloor and nature damage which is avoidable. In other countries and even in one Irish site scallops are dived for.

 

Why urgent now? Because the scallop price is  high so there is an incentive to harvest  even for small stocks.

 

Note: 10 m length and less boats  out dredging  are likely to be deemed legal under our present national law  – see Blacksod case. That is if otherwise licensed  from the  boat seaworthiness point of view even if in a protected site and simply coming in without appropriate assessment . They do however need to hand in scallop samples and have them analysed and pass toxin tests by Marine Inst  so authorities do know where  prospecting is going on from the  sample locations and we are following that line up.

 

Update on Blacksod Bay: On May 21st we were told by the Dept of the Marine  that there was a voluntary temporary cessation of scallop fishing in Blacksod Bay SAC – which we reported on our website.

But reliable local sources confirmed  to us that 2 boats were in fact out dredging in the bay  the following day May 22nd which ironically was World Biodiversity Day. Since then we have no further reports of  fishing but also it is locally  believed that the scallop stocks are now so low that its not worth going after.

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